Universities and unpaid work: Louis Althusser re-visited

Siebert, S. (2019) Universities and unpaid work: Louis Althusser re-visited. In: Values of the University in a Time of Uncertainty. Springer: Cham, pp. 125-135. ISBN 9783030159696 (doi:10.1007/978-3-030-15970-2_9)

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This chapter examines the practice of student work experience as a route into employment through the theoretical lens of Louis Althusser’s ideological state apparatuses. In particular, I focus on unpaid work experience which is compulsory or highly recommended, but not formally facilitated by the university. Work experience such as this raises a concern about the exploitative nature of unpaid work. I investigate to what extent such consideration is evident in the universities’ discourse of employability. Drawing on Althusser’s notion of ideological state apparatuses I pose the question whether the universities’ approach to employability, based on the values of individualism, can be held responsible for legitimising unpaid labour as a method of gaining access to paid employment.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Siebert, Professor Sabina
Authors: Siebert, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Published Online:18 June 2019

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